An evil drug lord threatens to murder millions in a nefarious plot that sees the Kingsman pair with an ally from the US.
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Poppy (Julianne Moore) leads a Cambodian drug cartel. She’s quite the entrepreneur, and is frustrated with the lack of recognition for her business savvy, simply due to the illegal nature of her wares.
Taking action into her own hands, she laces her drugs with a deadly poison that takes days to take effect. To provide the antidote, all she asks from the President of the US is immunity and the legalisation of her product. In return she finds an evil greater than her own, in a President who would rather watch his people die, so as to win the war on drugs.
The Kingsmen need to act, but they too face a threat of their own. A former trainee has turned and now works for Poppy. He has murder on his mind, and vengeance in his sights. To defeat the former trainee and Poppy, the Kingsman must work with their US counterpart—the Statesmen—who may not be as friendly as they seem.
If the original Kingsman film took a satirical view of the spy genre, it could be said we are veering now into Austin Powers territory with this latest instalment. It’s long and gaudy, and while it is certainly entertaining in parts, this is by no means a quality film.
The highlight, oddly enough, is Poppy. Her brand of saccharin villain is wickedly wonderful, and her captive, in Elton John, brings welcome humour to the film. I can only wonder how many millennials will appreciate the Elton John jokes though, as clearly this film feels targeted towards them, while sporting a cast that their parents would appreciate more.
Channing Tatum as the American ‘Eggsy’ is surprisingly dull. I adore Channing (admittedly, not just for his acting talents), but here I felt he was completely underutilised. Likewise, Halle Berry is given frightfully little to work with, but she does well with what she had—Mark Strong is also simply going through the motions.
As a fan of Matthew Vaughn’s films generally, no doubt he too would feel tepid about this latest offering.
Kingsman: The Golden Circle will soon be forgotten. But, if you are after some light and at times a quite humorous spy parody, and you’ve got almost two and a half hours to spare, then give it a go. It’s an all-star cast, making the most of some very average writing.
Director: Matthew Vaughn
Stars: Taron Egerton, Colin Firth, Mark Strong, Julianne Moors
Runtime: 2 hours 21 mins
Release Date: September 21
Reviewer Rating: 2.5/5